Christmas, in the eyes of children, must be the most magical time of the year.
I’m far from childhood, but the sights, sounds, scents, and memories of Christmas always boost my spirit.
“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.” ~Laura Ingalls Wilder
A couple of weekends ago, hubby and I rounded up two of our three adult children plus one (oldest daughter’s Best Beau) and summoned them home from the city for a day. We planned a special outing to a spot they had never visited, which reminded me of treks we took when they were little to see various Christmas light displays in whatever area of the country we were living at the time.
So the five of us piled in the car traveling north for a day excursion, where we spent several hours in a child’s fantasy land. Well-known in our neck of the woods is a store named Kraynak’s, a home and garden store that becomes a fantasy land twice a year every year.
During the Christmas season, folks line up outside in the cold, wintry air to enter the store just to venture through its Santa’s Christmasland, a 300-foot long seasonal display which prompts lots of oohs and aahs. In the spring, another display called Easter Bunny Lane attracts visitors. And it’s all free.
Of course, it’s difficult to vacate this huge store without purchasing something because there is a gift shop, garden center, room after room stock piled with every Christmas decoration known to mankind, and the most sought-after section for families with children – the toy store! Every kind of toy, from the latest gadget to the simplest toy from yesteryear, perches on the shelf waiting to be purchased.
If you enjoy erecting an electric train display to circle the Christmas tree, there is an entire section for those enthusiasts. All five of us ambled down the toy store aisles exclaiming over our finds. Fun for young and old kids alike!
And then we visited the candy aisles….the child in all of us and our sweet tooth truly surfaced. We left the store with our Christmas spirits lifted and our wallets emptier, but it was a good feeling.
We filled our growling stomachs by grabbing some lunch at a nearby restaurant, which turned out to be advantageous before we ventured down the street to another special spot, Daffin’s Candies to visit their Chocolate Kingdom.
If the inviting scent of chocolate greeting you the moment you step inside doesn’t whet your appetite for this creamy candy, viewing a village made completely of chocolate, including a 400 pound chocolate turtle, will! And then you get to taste a free sample chocolate made right there at the shop. Of course, that seals the deal, you have to buy some candy!
The day proved whimsical and it transported us back to happy days of Christmas merriment. As we meandered our way back home at the end of the day, oldest daughter’s beau remarked, “This really was fun!”
And he was right, it really was fun, but more than that, it was a day to make lasting Christmas memories, even though our children are not children any longer but are mature adults. I’ve been known to lament that Christmas isn’t as fun anymore because we have no wee ones in our midst, but today, Chapter 12 on page 12 in my Opportunity book, I’ve realized that Christmas magic doesn’t happen just for children.
“Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveler, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!” ~ Charles Dickens